Interview with Becki Newton and Zachary Knighton from "Weird Loners" on FOX - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite
 

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By Suzanne

Interview with Becki Newton and Zachary Knighton of "Weird Loners" on FOX 3/24/15

I really enjoyed the show when I saw the first three episodes, so I was delighted to speak with the two stars. I loved Becki in "Ugly Betty", and Knighton is just fabulous on this show. The two of them have amazing chemistry. It was a great call and they were very nice.

Final Transcript
FBC PUBLICITY: Weird Loners Conference Call
March 24, 2015/10:00 a.m. PDT

SPEAKERS
Michael Roach
Becki Newton
Zachary Knighton

PRESENTATION

Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Weird Loners Conference Call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode, and later we will conduct a question and answer session. Instructions will be given at that time. (Operator instructions.) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

And I would now like to turn the call over to your host, Michael Roach. Please go ahead.

Michael: Thanks, everyone, for joining us today on this conference call with Becki Newton and Zachary Knighton on behalf of the series premiere of the new comedy series, Weird Loners. Itís about four relationship-challenged mid 30-somethings who are unexpectedly thrust into one anotherís lives, forming unlikely bonds in a Queens, New York townhouse. The series comes from us from producers of Fresh off the Boat, New Girl and The King of Queens, and it premieres Tuesday, March 31st at 9:30/8:30 Central on FOX.

Thatís about it from me, and Karen, weíre ready to begin the call.

Moderator: (Operator instructions.) And our first question comes from the line of Jamie Ruby. Please go ahead, your line is open.

Jamie: Hey, guys. Thanks so much for doing the call today. I saw the first few episodes. Iím really enjoying it so far.

Zach: Thank you.

Becki: Good to know. I like it.

Jamie: So the four of you seem like you have a lot of fun on set filming this. Can you talk about kind of your relationship off set and also during filming, kind of just how that is?

Becki: Well I think what works so well, and you can see right away from the very first episode, we all started, and there was a very easy chemistry between us as though weíve all been working together a very long time. And I know thatís, that it made filming so much more fun and so much easier, and we were able to really play around from day one. If there wasnít a learning curve, that Iíve had in the past where you sort of get to know each other and become more comfortable, we all arrived pretty ready to go.

Zach: Becki, are you eating a bagel?

Becki: Iím not eating a bagel. Itís actually a frittata. Can you hear me eating because thatís disgusting.

Zach: No, but I know youíre hiding it and I applaud the hiding of the eating, but also itís making me hungryó

Becki: Itís not hiding if you could hear me. Iím so sorry.

Zach: I canít hear you eating. I can just hear you hiding your eating, so donít worry. Keep going.

Becki: Iím just gonna eat louder then so I donít even have to hide it.

Zach: Yes, we love each other. Do you want me to expand on that? Like those guys are so funny and everybody comes from a television background. I think weíre all kind of pros. I guess Meera is like the newcomer, but it doesnít feel like it. She feels like the coolest customer of all of us butó

Becki: She feels like sheís been working for 50 years in TV and yet it was her first TV job. So you had sort of three of us who have been around the block a million times and then Meera who was just absolutely incredible. It all felt really easy from day one. Back to my bagel.

Jamie: All right, and then as a follow-up. Is there something maybe coming up that you can tease about that youíre looking forward to for fans to see?

Becki: For me, thereís a scene, I believe, Zach, is it Episode 2 where we go down to Florida and you show up at Nanaís?

Zach: Yes.

Becki: That was a particularly interesting sceneóit was a cool shot. There was a really neat shot when Zach and I, or our characters had their first, I think, real moment of connection. And Jake Kasdan, who I believe directed that episode, did something really cool with the cameras and slowed everything down and I think it started what continued to be a really cool style for this show. These sort of surprising elements.

Zach: They shot it with the [indiscernible] style of the show thatís really cool. Like some of the shots are a little bit off, a little awkward, a little tilted, and then this particular scene without really spoiling it, itís sort of a dance. My character takes Beckiís character and starts dancing with her because heís pretending that he is Carynís fiancť, so this old lady in the nursing home feels comfortable that her granddaughteró

Becki: The old ladyís name is Nana. Thank you very much.

Zach: Yes, Nana. Okay fine.

Becki: Right, Nana.

Zach: So, the lights dim. It sort of becomes a fantasy sequence, and itís really beautiful. We did it all practical; it wasnít something that was just done in [indiscernible]. So we shot it with these lights changing and it made the episode, and I think it really sets a really nice tone for the show, and we sort of explored that some more. Hopefully, if we get a Season 2, weíll do even more exploring.

Jamie: Okay, great, that was a cute scene. Thank you so much both of you.

Zach: Thank you.

Becki: Bye.

Jamie: Bye, bye.

Moderator: (Operator instructions.) Our next question comes from the line of Suzanne Lanoue. Please go ahead.

Suzanne: Hi, good morning.

Zach: Good morning.

Becki: Good morning.

Suzanne: I watched three episodes this morning. I really enjoyed them a lot.

Becki: Oh great.

Zach: Thank you so much.

Becki: Thatís a great start.

Suzanne: Yes, and Iím very picky about comedy and always watch with trepidation and go oh, is this going to be funny, and it really had me laughing.

Becki: Oh great. Thatís great.

Suzanne: I was wondering if you guys, you said you had this natural sort of just feeling on the set. Did the four of you do anything to try to bond more for the show, to try to get that sort of feeling after you started shooting oró?

Becki: For me, I think what was so great is we didnít need to force anything. Like I said, we showed up and from the minute we started there was an ease. We didnít have to work any harder to create that chemistry. I think itís one of those things that itís either there or itís not. I know also with Zach, our characters have a lot of chemistry and thatís something that, in my experience, itís either there or itís not, and it was so there with Zach.

Zach: Hey.

Becki: Iíll speak for myself, I donít want to speak for Zach, but I just thought it was this really comfortable, really easy, and therefore, very charming and believable.

Zach: And I think itís probably a testament to my performance abilityó

Becki: It is.

Zach: Because I donít believe I have any chemistry with Becki. Just kidding, I have great chemistry with Becki and Nate and Meera, and you know, Becki has a couple of kids at home so sheís a very good mom. Sheís always at home. Believe it or not, we actually, the rest of us would go out and have a couple of drinks every now and again. We try to get Newton to come with us, but usually [indiscernible]ó

Becki: I am, I do have a double life. Thatís true. But this is the first Iíve heard of these so-called drinks with the rest of the cast. Apparently, I wasnít invited.

Zach: Youíre always invited. Can weóput us on mute. Just kidding.

Suzanne: So just as a follow-up. I noticed that you guys are both really good looking, but in the show they kind of ugly you up a little bit to like, so that youíre funny and everything. Do they tell you these things before they do them, or are they just like okay come here, weíre going to mess up your hair or whatever?

Zach: First of all, I think that they tried to make me better looking so now Iím a little bit confused aboutó

Becki: I think the truth is we were very aware that these characters werenít the typical ones you see on TV. So Michael, our creator, really wanted them to look as imperfect as their characters were. It wouldnít make sense for these people to struggle so much in life, but have perfect hair and perfect skin and perfect clothes. So I think our creator rightfully really wanted these, the way these characters looked to reflect their situations in life.

Suzanne: Thank you. Good luck.

Zach: Thank you so much.

Becki: Thank you.

Moderator: (Operator instructions.) Our next question comes from the line of Steve Owens. Please go ahead.

Steve: Yes, the question I have is for both of you guys. Was it a straight offer or did you have to go through the long process of the network test and being in front of 40 people, picking and choosing at you?

Zach: Straight offer, Steve, straight offer.

Becki: Straight offer. I think weíre both very fortunate to have been chose in the past that have been really great platforms, and hopefully our work has spoken for itself enough and we have been ableó

Zach: Steve, how could a hundredóhow could nine other series be wrong? Nine other canceled series be wrong?

Becki: Exactly.

Zach: [Indiscernible] a straight offer.

Steve: Well, look at it this way. With nine canceled series, at least your dollar quote goes up.

Zach: Oh, definitely.

Becki: Exactly.

Zach: Thanks, Steve.

Steve: And one other question. This one is for Becki, is that how was the transition moving from Philadelphia or Connecticut to Los Angeles?

Becki: Mostly the driving was the issue. I didnít get behind the wheel for 3 years when I moved to LA because I was so terrified. I had gone to the university in Philadelphia then moved to New York, so for 10 years I didnít drive and I was suddenly on the 405 and after 3 years of getting rides from my friends and my husband, I decided to get behind the wheel one day. Iím a late bloomer in many ways, and driving is another part of that. I just couldnít do it, I was terrified.

Steve: Well, officially welcome to LA.

Becki: Thank you.

Moderator: (Operator instructions.) We have a question from the line of Jamie Ruby. Please go ahead. Your line is open.

Jamie: Hi again.

Becki: Hello.

Jamie: So, Iím curious. Is there anything, like any lines or anything that you guys improvíd. I donít know how kind of strict they are with the script in the show, butó.

Becki: Iím sure thatóitís funny, they werenító

Zach: You know it was all pretty much on the page.

Becki: Yes. I know that they were obviouslyó

Zach: I mean everybodyó

Becki: Iím sorry, go ahead Zach.

Zach: No, you go, you go.

Becki: I think obviously Michael, Jake and everyone was open improving but it really was all there on the page. I think Michael had a very specific vision of who these characters were and what they would say, and we really wanted to honor that and we stuck pretty close to it. Anytime that funny things were going on, obviously they would keep the camera rolling, but I would say in comparison to other shows, this one stuck closer to the word.

Jamie: Great. And then, for both of you, whatís your favorite part about your character?

Zach: I would say, for me Stosh, heís kind of a despicable guy. Heís kind of, you know heís not a very nice person all the time to the people around him. Heís kind of a user and I like exploring that darker side of myself for comedy sake, because I get to do kind of despicable things and not really have to pay the consequences. Thatís kind of my favorite thing about this particular character.

Becki: For me, I love Carynís optimism in the face of logic. She, and I have a little bit of this in me, where she just goes all in to everything including her relationship and doesnít really look at the facts and often gets herself into trouble and no matter what, she doesnít really learn any lessons and just stays supremely optimistic/really obtuse and I like that. I like people that donít really learn their lessons but keep on going anyway.

Jamie: All right. Thank you so much.

Zach: Thank you.

Jamie: Thank you.

Moderator: (Operator instructions.) And we do have a question from Lance Carter. Please go ahead, your line is open.

Lance: Hey, guys. Nice talking to you.

Zach: Hey, how are you?

Becki: Hi, Lance.

Lance: Well, so I have an acting website, itís called Daily Actors and I always like to ask this question. What were the very first professional jobs that you guys had?

Becki: I was paid to be Barney the dinosaur at childrenís birthday parties and I got paid $25 per party, and after a summer of wearing this costume in 90 degree heat I was fired because apparently I wasnít committed enough to the character.

Lance: Nice.

Zach: Wow. That explains so much about you.

Becki: It really does. Again optimism is the key word here. Optimism.

Zach: My first job was this first movie called Cherry Falls about a murderer who kills virgins, and Jane Moore was the killer and Brittany Murphy was the lead in the movie. And I was cast only off my headshot because they were looking for someone to play Michael Bean in a flashback rape scene, and I was cast because I supposedly looked like young Michael Bean. There were no lines and I showed up to set to shoot my very first movie. I was super excited, I couldnít believe it, and when I got there, I went through makeup and hair and then this producer knocked on my door and he said, ďIím so sorry, thereís been a really big mistake. The names were switched with the headshots, we actually wanted to cast this other guy.Ē And the other person that they cast, the person they really casted was my roommate, and so I was fired from this job before I even did it.

Iím driving home and my roommate calls me and he says, ďOh my God, you wouldnít believe it. Dude, I got cast in Cherry Falls, too.Ē And I just said, ďDude, no you got my job.Ē I went home, I was heartbroken.

And they called me that night at 2 a.m. when they wrapped and they said everybody feels so terrible about what happened that we actually created a character for you in this movie. And they gave me a part, which turned out to be way better where I play a guy who comes into the police station like a crazy guy. I think my character was named Mr. Rolly, and he comes into the police station claiming to be the serial killer. So I have this whole scene where Iím like improvising crazy mad, jumping on the counter of this police station claiming to be this killer. So it actually turned out to be a much better part.

Lance: Wow.

Becki: This story gets way better as it goes on.

Zach: And my buddy in the movie is black and white.

Lance: Thatís the greatest story Iíve heard. Wow, nice.

Becki: Yes, thatís great.

Zach: Yes, it worked out pretty good. Not so well for my buddy, Iíll tell you that right now.

Lance: Thanks, guys.

Becki: Bye.

Zach: Thank you, man.

Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Amanda Festa. Please go ahead.

Amanda Hi, I loved the first three episodes. I thought they were so funny and great.

Zach: Well, thank you.

Becki: Thank you.

Amanda: Youíre welcome. My question is more general about the show. I watched the first three episodes and I saw a lot of kind of comparisons to Happy Endings and [indiscernible], which are two other very funny, amazing shows. And I was wondering what do you think sets Weird Loners apart from other shows about 30-something singles?

Zach: You know, I would say that in a weird way these people are just not very likable. I mean theyíre kind of pathetic in their own ways, and you know, I think thatís something funny to explore in television. You know, I donít know if youíre really rooting for these guys or not. I mean Iíve only seen a couple of episodes myself and you know, to me itís funny to not really root for a character. So thatís kind of where I sit with it, in terms of what makes it kind of different.

Becki: Yes, I think you watch it and youíre cringing while you watch it. Maybe in the past, characters on TV were more aspirational [ph], you watched it and hoped you could be like them or looked like them, or act like them. In this case, you absolutely do not want to be like any of these people but it might be fun to watch them because you sort of canít believe their behavior.

Amanda: Thatís great. And just a follow-up question. So, Stosh and Caryn are obviously dancing around a hook up and going off what you guys were just saying, do you think theyíre good for each other or is it kind of what you were saying where maybe not?

Becki: I think whatís great is in other shows [indiscernible] will they or wonít they, and this particular show it probably will and who cares.

Amanda: Awesome. Thank you so much.

Zach: Thank you.

Becki: Bye.

Moderator: And we have one more question from the line of Steve Owens. Please go ahead.

Steve: Yes, the question is, is how close are the characters to you guys in real life?

Becki: For me, thereís certain similarities. Like Iíve said in the past, unwavering optimism in the face of logic. When I do something, Iím in 100%. I happen to be a married mother of two, so in that respect my life is very different than Carynís life, but our attitudes about many things are similar. Like I said unwavering optimism.

Zach: I would say Iím completely the opposite of my character. I probably have those kind of a*** personality traits but Iíve suppressed them for a long time and theyíve sort of disappeared but itís fun to bring them to the surface and explore that and not have to pay the consequences, like I was saying earlier. But, yes, no Iím kind of the opposite. I feel like Iím not as concerned about running scams as Stosh is, but itís so much fun to play that and for me it was just a great little exploration.

Steve: Perfect. Thank you very much.

Zach: Thank you, Steve.

Michael: Well, great, thanks, everyoneó Oh excuse me.

Moderator: Thank you, everyone. Iíll turn it back to Michael. Go ahead.

Michael: Great. Thanks for joining us today on this conference call for the series premiere of Weird Loners. And just a reminder the series premieres Tuesday, March 31st at 9:30/8:30 Central on FOX. Thanks, Becki and Zach.

Becki: Thank you. Bye, guys!

Zach: Bye.

Becki: Bye.

Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude the conference call for today. Thank you for your participation and for using AT&T TeleConference Services. You may now disconnect.

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